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HomeNewsArchivesProsecutors Agree to Postpone Sen. Alvin Williams' Corruption Trial

Prosecutors Agree to Postpone Sen. Alvin Williams' Corruption Trial

Alvin Williams, the St. Thomas senator facing up to 20 years in prison on federal and local bribery and corruption charges, requested this week that his trial be continued from January to June, and prosecutors have responded that they do not object. The court has yet to weigh in on the motions, but continuances are commonly granted when both prosecution and defense agree.

On Monday Williams’ attorneys filed a motion asking the court to "extend the period of time within which this matter must be tried, up to and including June 2013." Williams’ motion says the "primary reason for the extension is that the Government has just produced 18,000 pages of discovery, as well as a voluminous supplemental discovery, which will require extensive time to analyze and to prepare responses."

On Tuesday Ronald White, the U.S. Attorney for the district of the Virgin Islands, filed a response to Williams’ motion to continue the case, saying it does not oppose the motion to continue. "As stated by the defendant, the discovery in this case is voluminous and effective representation by counsel necessarily requires the time to adequately review it," reads the motion filed by Sharpe and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kim Lindquist and Kelly Lake.

Codefendants Kim Blackett and Garry Sprauve, who worked for Williams in the Legislature and are scheduled to be tried together with Williams in January, also requested continuances. White said in other filings the government does not object to those requests either.

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Also this week, both Williams and Sprauve requested court permission to travel out of the territory before the trial. White filed responses saying the government does not object to either request.

Williams is requesting permission to travel to Haiti to oversee the use of some heavy excavating equipment his family’s company, Ace Development, has leased for work there. Williams’ filing says his father, Alvin Williams Sr., is being treated in Philadelphia for fish poisoning and cannot oversee the work as originally planned.

On Thursday U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller approved Williams’ travel request, permitting him to go to Haiti on business from Dec. 16 through 30.

Sprauve has requested permission to travel to the U.S. for cardiac care until Jan. 24, which would require the trial be postponed. While prosecutors indicated earlier this week they do not object to a continuance, Miller has not yet acted on the request. A hearing on Sprauve’s travel request is scheduled Dec. 17.

Ace Development is also a defendant in the case. The Williams’ family company has moved to have the charges dismissed, arguing the court lacks jurisdiction and the company cannot be criminally charged under V.I. law unless "charged as an enterprise involved in conspiracy and racketeering."

Prosecutors have filed a response disputing both arguments and opposing dismissal of the charges. The court has not yet ruled on the motion for dismissal.

The federal indictment charges that Williams attempted to bribe Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls with $10,000 in cash in 2009 in exchange for granting future work to Ace Development.

Williams allegedly also solicited a bribe from the developers of the Raphune Vista housing project on St. Thomas, and corruptly promoted legislative action and supported funding and zoning for the project, in exchange for which Ace Development got a contract for Raphune Vista construction work and rented construction equipment to the developers.

Williams also allegedly solicited and received a $10,000 and a $25,000 bribe from the developers of the Tutu Park Mall windmill power generating project.

On a smaller, but more personally abusive level, prosecutors claim Williams solicited and received bribes from subordinate employees by offering to increase their salaries if they would then pay him a portion of the increase in cash every paycheck.

Williams also allegedly had Blackett spend time on the job doing class work in Williams’ name as he sought online degrees from the University of Phoenix from 2007 through 2011. They are both being charged with federal wire fraud and territorial charges of defrauding the Virgin Islands government by using legislative and public funds for doing non-legislative work.

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